Be Brave, Don’t Be Perfect

Girls are raised to be perfect, and boys are raised to be brave, says Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code.

Reshma Saujani walked away from a finance career in 2010 to run for the House of Representatives. Although her Congress bid (and a subsequent shot for the office of New York City Public Advocate) was ultimately unsuccessful, Saujani’s passion for public service was fired up.

She has taken up the charge to socialize young girls to take risks and learn to program — two skills they need to move society forward.

In 2012, Saujani founded Girls Who Code to stoke excitement for computer science among high-school women. She aims to enroll one million women in the program by 2020 — and tech has stepped in to help: Google and Twitter are backers, and engineers at Facebook, AT&T and others have signed on as mentors.

To truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half of our population, she says.

“I need each of you to tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection.”